The Organisers of the RAF Waddington International Air Show are thrilled to announce that the iconic Avro Vulcan Bomber B2 XH558 will return to Waddington in July to perform its magnificent display in front of more than hundred thousand visitors over the Air Show weekend of 5th & 6th July.
The Avro Vulcan was designed in the late 1940’s by the same team that built the Avro Lancaster. It is a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber which was operated by the Royal Air Force during the Cold War as a nuclear strike platform. Although the Vulcan was originally armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War. The RAF retired the Vulcan in 1984 but XH558 was kept active for flying displays until 1992.
XH558 is the only flying Vulcan in the world and is also the oldest complete Vulcan anywhere. She represents over 300 bombers which made up the UK’s contribution to the NATO strategy of deterrence. The Vulcan is now an inspiring tribute to the hundreds of thousands of dedicated service men and women who maintained and flew the aircraft.
This much loved aircraft, ‘The Spirit of Great Britain’, as she is affectionately known by the public, returned proudly to the public domain at the RAF Waddington International Air Show in July 2008 and has performed in front of millions of spectators all over the country since then.
During 2014 Vulcan To The Sky Trust (VTST) will be commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the end of the Cold War, with the Vulcan being the centrepiece as the last flying example of the V-Force.
The XH558′s eagerly- anticipated, performance will be a significant addition to the display programme that already includes an array of aircraft from the RAF, Royal Navy and Army Air Corps, with spectacular displays lead by the RAF Red Arrows and the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
A number of foreign military display aircraft have also already confirmed their attendance, including a debut by the Spanish helicopter display team ‘Patrulla ASPA’, the thunderous Swiss Air Force ‘Hornet’ Solo Display and a special display by the Slovak Air Force with their Albatross L-39 training aircraft, specially decorated to commemorate Czechoslovak pilots who fought in the RAF during the Second World War.
RAF Waddington International Air Show Director, Sqn Ldr Paul Sall (Rtd) said: “This year’s display is shaping up really well, with an exciting line up already confirmed. I am really delighted that the XH558, such a favourite of the crowd, will also display this year. There is no doubt that this iconic aircraft, which was once stationed here at RAF Waddington, will once again create the ‘Vulcan Effect’, thrilling thousands of our spectators at the Show this year.”
Dr Robert Pleming, Chief Executive of the VTST said: “I’m delighted that all of the hard work carried out over the winter by the VTST team, supported by many other companies, will now enable us to return XH558 to the 2014 RAF Waddington International Air Show. It is of course highly appropriate that the aircraft is making a return to RAF Waddington, where she was based for many years in a variety of roles, including her final one as the display aircraft for the Vulcan Display Flight, before her retirement from RAF service in March 1993.”
“It was of course at Waddington where XH558 made her high-profile and emotional return to public displays on an unforgettable Saturday back in July 2008.”
“This is a great opportunity for us to say a very big thank you to all of XH558’s loyal supporters who have stayed with her through thick and thin, because without their unstinting help we would not be where we are today. We are incredibly grateful that the Vulcan is appearing once again at this famous RAF Station, giving people, particularly those who have not seen her before, the chance to experience the incredible spectacle of this truly iconic and much-loved aircraft.” To find out about the many ways that you can help to support Vulcan XH558 visit www.vulcantothesky.org.
This year’s RAF Waddington International Air Show will celebrate a number of milestones in the RAF history, including the Red Arrows’ 50th Display Season, 65th Anniversary of NATO, 70 years since the D-Day Landings and commemoration of the start of the First World War. Ticket sales began in November and are showing over 30% increase in sales from this time last year. For more information about the show, to book admission tickets or enclosure seats go to http://www.waddingtonairshow.co.uk/.